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Sweeting v. Warden, North Central Correctional Complex

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

August 28, 2019

DEIONANDREA SWEETING, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, NORTH CENTRAL CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX, Respondent.

          Barrett, J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          STEPHANIE K. BOWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner, an inmate in custody at the North Central Correctional Institution at the time this action was commenced, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court. (Doc. 1). This matter is before the Court on respondent's motion to dismiss, to which petitioner has not responded. (Doc. 5).

         For the reasons stated below, the undersigned recommends that respondent's motion to dismiss be granted (Doc. 5) and the petition be dismissed.

         In the petition, petitioner raises the following single ground for habeas corpus relief:

GROUND ONE:
Due Process of law Amendment 14th, § 2929.19(B)(2)(g)(i), (B)(2)(g)(ii), (B)(2)(g)(ii), § 2967.191
Supporting facts: I did send exhibits to the court to verify my incarceration in the County Jail of Hamilton county Jail attach to my motion.

(Doc. 1 at PageID 6). For relief, petitioner requests that jail time be credited to him to reduce his sentence and that he be immediately released. (Id. at PageID 16). Respondent has moved to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction, as moot, for failure to comply with Habeas Rule 2, on exhaustion grounds, and for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief in federal habeas corpus. (Doc. 5).

         On March 15, 2018, following a bench trial, petitioner was found guilty of Failure to Register and Comply with Sex Offender Registration Duties and sentenced to 18 months in the Ohio Department of Corrections. (Doc. 4, Ex. 11). Petitioner was also found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to serve sixty-days in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

         On August 6, 2018, petitioner filed a pro se motion for jail-time credit, which was denied by the trial court. (Doc. 4, Ex. 22, 23). On November 5, 2018, the trial court filed a nunc pro tunc sentencing entry granting petitioner 120 days of jail time credit. (Doc. 4, Ex. 24).

         On February 19, 2019, petitioner filed another motion for jail time credit, which remained pending when petitioner filed the instant habeas corpus petition. As he does in the petition, petitioner claimed he was entitled to jail-time credit under Ohio Rev. Code § 2929.19. (Doc. 4, Ex. 25). On March 18, 2019, the trial court issued an order granting petitioner's motion. (Doc. 4, Ex. 26). Petitioner was released from custody the next day, on March 19, 2019. (Doc. 4, Ex. 27 at PageID 244-45).

         Article III, § 2 of the United States Constitution limits the federal judicial power to the adjudication of cases and controversies. In the context of a habeas corpus petition, a district court generally lacks jurisdiction over the petition if the petitioner is not in government custody. Therefore, except in limited circumstances not applicable to the case-at-hand, [1] a petitioner's release from custody generally moots a habeas petition. See Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 631-32 (1982).

         In this case, petitioner does not attack his conviction. Instead, he seeks release from custody on the ground that he was entitled to jail time credits. As noted above, the trial court granted petitioner's motion for jail-time credit (Doc. 4, Ex. 26) and petitioner has been released. In the absence of a remaining case or controversy the undersigned recommends that the petition be dismissed as moot. See Brantley v. Sloan, No. 1:16-cv-200, 2017 WL 4326661, at *3 (N.D. Ohio Feb. 8, 2017) (finding that a petition challenging jail time credits was rendered moot where the petitioner's term of incarceration had expired and he was released) (Report and Recommendation), adopted 2017 WL 4310649 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 28, 2017). Cf. Kahn v. Attorney General, Case Nos. 1:15-cv-2014, 1:16-cv-85, at *2 (N.D. Ohio May 17, 2016) (“As Petitioner has ...


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